Workouts That May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Finley’sluckycharm, Abel Tasman, Vasilika, Bal Harbour

Carl Moore Management LLC’s Finley’sluckycharm (Coady Photography, Churchll Downs)

Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks all over the country.  We are looking for workouts that may be of interest and helpful to you — as both race fans and handicappers.  Some of the horses we will be tracking, you will know.  Some of them, you may not know — as of yet.  We will keep a keen eye and stopwatch to see who may be working well:

  1. Finley’sluckycharm, a 5YO Twirling Candy filly who has won 11 of 18 starts to date, worked this morning at Churchill Downs for trainer W. Bret Calhoun. The mare went a half-mile in leisurely :49.60, which placed her 14th of 29 to go the distance. In her last out, she was a disappointing 7th in the G1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga. Before that, though, sh won the G2 Honorable Miss Handicap at the same track. The filly, though, loves Churchill Downs. She ran fourth in the G1 Humana Distaff here in May, but before that she had won 6 races in a row under the Twin Spires. Six. May be a horse for the course at this year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
  2. Believe In Royalty, a 3YO son of Tapit trained by J. Larry Jones, looks like he is maturing into a really good one right now. Or so it appears. After running uncontrollably fast on the lead in his early races, it now seems as if the colt has learn to rate and utilize his speed much later. Point of emphasis is the Ellis Park Derby, which he won at Ellis Park on Aug. 12. Today, he was back in action, working 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. That was the third fastest time out of 11 to go early today. Worth watching next out to see if he progresses.
  3. Divine Quality, a 3YO filly by Divine Park and trained by Tom Proctor, is entered to run at Delaware Park on Thursday. She blew out 3 furlongs today at Fair Hill in a very impressive time of :35.40. That was the bullet move of 7 to go the distance over the all-weather surface. So far, this one has run twice and has finished second twice. May be time to graduate this week. I’m betting.
  4. Bal Harbour, a 3YO gelded son of First Samurai and trained by Todd Pletcher, was pushed toward a possible Triple Crown run early this spring. In January, he ran second to the highly acclaimed Mask in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park. He beat the touted Dak Attack in that one, too. But after that promising run, this one ran fifth in the G3 Withers Stakes and then fifth in the Private Terms Stakes and immediately went to the shelf. He has not raced since, but got his ninth published work since July 21 today at Fair Hill. He went 3 furlongs in :40.40 for 3 furlongs over the dirt track. That was last of 4 to go the distance. Interesting.
  5. Vasilika, a 4YO Skipshot filly trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, has won six races in row and eight of the last nine . Since she moved from Aqueduct to Santa Anita in March of this year, she has only one second in the last 7 starts. And, she has gone from claiming ranks to winning the G2 John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar. She worked at the “Great Race Place” this morning, going 5 furlongs in 1:00.40. That was the 2nd best time out of 13 to go that distance. What a story this filly has become.
  6. Abel Tasman, a 4YO Quality Road filly trained by Bob Baffert, worked at Santa Anita this morning. She went 6 furlongs in 1:13.20, which was the 2nd best time out of 4 to go the distance. That was the same time and distance as Baffert’s Vale Dori, who is coming off a second place finish in the Tranquility Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 24.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean